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Inside Washington

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Israel 10, United States 8, Iraq 7, Us 4, Alaska 4, Obama 3, Citi 3, Sarah Palin 2, Miller 2, Wisconsin 2, Mahmoud Abbas 2, Kuwait 2, Joe Miller 2, Lisa Murkowski 1, Carey 1, Netanyahu 1, Murkowski Palin 1, Dan Harris 1, John Kerry 1, Mark Caskey 1,
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  ABC    Inside Washington    News/Business. Round-table discussions  
   feature nationally recognized journalists. (CC)  

    September 5, 2010
    9:00 - 9:30am EDT  

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♪ >> tonight, i am announcing that the american combat mission in iraq has handed them up this week, is the war in iraq really over? was the sacrifice worth it? >> help the always in the balance over time i think remains to be seen. >> alaska senator lisa murkowski throws in the taliban i do not see a scenario where the primary will turn out in my favor. >> talk about another win for sarah palin and tea party. >> a lasting peace would be achieved only if mutual and
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painful concessions from both sides. >> mideast peace talks, will president obama said state where others before them have failed? as we celebrate labor day weekend with hurricane earl, storm clouds are gathering for the return of congress to washington. ♪ >> president obama spoke to the nation from the oval office this week nearly 7.5 years after the united states invaded iraq. the american combat mission is ended he said and he kept his promise to the american people. >> this was my pleasure to the american people as a candidate for this office. last february, i announced a plan that would bring our combat brigade out of iraq while redoubling our efforts to strike in iraq's security forces and support the government and people. that is what we have done.
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>> went dan harris of abc news asked defense secretary gates about this, he said it remains to be seen. i will ask you a series of questions about the war. was it worth it? >> no. >> charles? >> i am a little more humble in making a judgment. i go with secretary superdelegates who was there in many stages of the war. he says history will judge when the korean armistice was signed for the majority of americans thought the war was not worth it. i think the judgment of history today is probably different and i think if iraq establishes a democracy that becomes an example for the rest of the middle east and begins a trend of democratization, history will say it was great if it doesn't, history will say it wasn't. >> 4400 americans killed, we spent close to $1 trillion, we
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went to war because of weapons of mass destruction, we found no weapons of mass destruction to destroy3 . president said we have turned a page. that may be true but we have not closed the book on iraq. we are and the middle of the book i think and have many chapters to go. was it worth it? it is card to say yes -- it is hard to say yes when you have a situation where iran who was an enemy of iraq is now on good speaking terms with iraq since the invasion. >> was it worth the sacrifice of blood and treasure? >> i don't believe so. it is even more than the blood and treasure involved. i'd say that i hope with some respect for those who sacrificed. it was a pre-emptive war against the country that had never
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attacked the united states, that had never threatened the united states. we went in under a totally false promise of a fabricated pretext. it was a war were not only 4400 americans were killed and over 40,000 wounded or crippled and the cost of trillions, probably estimate it to go to $3 trillion, the iraqis themselves, 100,000 dead at least, 2.5 million dislocated from their own country, 2 million expatriate living out of the country. it has left the united states less able to organize a coalition and less believable and credible to organize a coalition in afghanistan. >> you had such a short answer before. did the invasion of iraq make americans say for the long run? >> no, it probably, i think, made the world situation and therefore for us less safe
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because while saddam hussein was despicable, he actually did control the country. there was no al-qaida there when he was in power because it would have been a threat to him. therefore, but the counterbalance he provided to iran and the control over terrorism cells and his own country probably in any sort of cold hearted national security way was beneficial to us, not the other way round. as long as he did not have weapons of mass destruction since we had a good inspection system and he did not have weapons of mass destruction, i think that probably for us it was not a bad situation. it was terrible for the iraqi people but they were doing okay economically. >> all this concern for the iraqis is an incredible amnesia. the complaint of the left before the war in the clinton administration was protect relentlessly over this. thousands of iraqis were dying
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because of the embargo especially iraqi children, tens of thousands. if you want to make a tally of their losses, you have to remember what the situation was at the time. secondly, as this criteria that iraq had never attacked us, they did not attack as an adult for either when they invaded kuwait. would you have said the gulf war was a mistake? >> no. >> that is not a criterion under which you go to war. you decide it will be in your interest. lastly, the president making this speech could never have made that speech ending our mission with relative success had the surge not occur. the president opposed it. senator biden opposed it. my colleagues her had opposed it. at that time arguing that what we needed was not a military surgeon at a diplomatic one. the obama administration has to answer one charge, a diplomatic mission to establish a new government. they have failed entirely in doing that. >> you will get great arguments
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from the american military on the search itself and whether it was the sunni uprising and distribution of large amounts of cash. that aside, the fact is that the united states of america is not in a stronger position internationally. we organized a coalition after iraq. it was with you and backing and 36 nations that sent interest rate we could not form a coalition today as a direct consequence of what happened in iraq and we misled our partners. >> iraq predated kuwait. they did not do any thing. >> i listened to the left as well and i did not hear the left make the big noise that we need to do something because of the way saddam hussein is still in oil money. that was not the issue at the time. there was no clamoring from the
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left to go into invade iraq. that came from the right. you know that. >> we will be debating this for years to come very we prepa>> iy
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there are no be heading started that was a false statement added need to be cleared up right now. >> i will call you out. i think that you should renounce your support and endorsement of the unions that are boycotting our state. >> that is a portion of a debate between the arizona republican governor and her democratic challenger governor brewer says the state has become bylaw because of illegal immigration. her opponents as that is not so. following the enactment of the
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tough immigration law in arizona, gubernatorial candidates in 20 states are endorsing that same legislation. what do you make of that? >> it is encouraging that people in the arizona desert are not being be headed only shot. i am sure that is an improvement in security under the circumstances. it is clear that we are headed for a way election. the most important number is the generic ballot you ask people will vote democratic or republican. there is the largest spread in 68 years. that is was a long time ago. ronald reagan was a democrat at the time. >> a recent gallup poll said the outlook for democratic congressional candidates is more bleak than 1994 and 2006. president obama's popularity is still around 40%. >> you ask why are governors supporting this, because it is
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cheap. everyone knows this case is going to the supreme court so we will find it was possible than. >> jonathan martin of politico looks at three races. as the president's popularity continues to attack, what are the chances of one or all of them getting knocked off? >> russ feingold was always consider the fire while the democrats in wisconsin and was popular across the ball. if he is in troubl in wisconsin cabane democrats are in trouble elsewhere on your question about immigration -- anxiety, fear gripped the country economically. that is the time to go after strangers and others. we learned this week that illegal immigration in the country has dropped by 67%. all the boards and waves his fabrication. in this kind of climate when
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people are scared, all the numbers you gave, the one that matters the most beyond the present job redding and that is the unemployment rate. the unemployment rate is still up and went up to 9.6% this week. >> you have been skeptical about a huge republican sweep in november? >> with every passing day, i see more predictions of such a thing. i still think at the end of the day that you will not seek both houses of congress taken over by the republicans. the case still must be made by members on the ground, the democrats on the ground, a democrat running for reelection, they voted for these programs. they have to stand up and defend their boats spread if they cannot do that, shame on them >> what about lee said mark caskey? that name has been -- what
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about alisa murkowski? how did she get knocked off? >> you have to give credit to sarah palin [laughter] she came out for joe miller in a big way. that meant a lot in the state of alaska to have her endorse him. there is friction between the palins and the murkowskis and a way that joy miller is not a nobody. he is a decorated veteran >> her endorsement is what kicked off half a million dollars infusion of money from the tea party and in a small state in terms of demographics, that made big difference. >> is this significant or more like a family feud? >> what about john kerry's
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military credentials? so be it with joe miller. this was an impressive victory. the murkowski/palin thing goes out -- it goes back to 2006. when she left in 2009, left the office, lisa m. rakowski took a shot at her. >> one difference between miller and carey, miller does not windsurf in a tight suit then are you sure? >> in alaska, it is too cold. >> let's move along here. >> in alaska, it is too cold. >> let's move along here. president obama tries or other
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i am convinced that it is possible to reconcile that desire with israel's need for security. >> the israeli prime minister netanyahu talking to palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas days after four israelis were killed on the west bank with hamas claimed responsibility. hamas is against the peace talks and said abbas has no right to represent all palestinians. how did these talks go anywhere? >> it will be very difficult to as important that the united states remain engaged. i think it will be very important for the united states to recognize the difficult position in which netanyahu finds himself. it is not just because he has strong opposition to what he is trying to achieve in the peace talks, but because at issue from my point of view is israel's own future, its state. they are still in a hostile
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territory. you have hamas that does not want any kind of peace talks with israel. you have people in the region who would just as soon see israel wiped off the face of the earth. that is the reality that is the neighborhood in which netanyahu finds himself. the united states has to be very careful that it does not weaken israel's position. israel is a very, very difficult position at this point. >> for home does abbas speak? >> he speaks for fatah. >> in many ways, i get an enormous credit for doing something that he has for 20 years believe them. he has always renounced violence. increasingly, he is somewhat isolated. he is doing this anyway even though his own allies are at best lukewarm about it.
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i think israel is in a position of strength for a better economy is good. they have not had a suicide bomber in two years. netanyahu is in a strong political position. he can only benefit by these talks. if he succeeds he is a hero and the doesn't succeed, he is still a hero. >> i think the administration should be compounded for the way it's structured these talks. i think it is exactly the right way to approach this. mitchell spoke to the press yesterday after one of these meetings in which he said this negotiation over the next year is about final status. this is about an end to conflict. this is about a settlement of all grievances for it does not enter a room. oslo was a disaster. it is not a partial pri. it has to be a framework meaning of a huge concessions have to be agreed to. israel will give up territory. the palestinians will give up
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right of return. >israel will get a hold onto all of jerusalem and the palestinians will grant israel some security on the jordan valley. that is what worked with the egyptian negotiations, a friend or between israel and egypt after words of the lawyers worked out details. that is exactly what is necessary. , an end to the conflict. i think that is the right structure and i think that is the right approach. the problem is the israelis are ready. netanyahu is ready for an end to the conflict for it whether any palestinian will ever sign an agreement that ends the war, i doubt it. >> that is the question. >> i get mahmoud abbas great credit for putting that together. it may jeopardize his own political future for his life. i give, reluctantly, mr. netanyahu credit.
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what he did when the terrorist attack occurred and four israelis were killed, that in the past would have been an excuse for ending talks. the fact that he went beyond that and said the talks and the admission is the most important, i think that's as the seriousness of this and let's hope it is like nixon going to china. >> maybe it is. i think you have to have more participation by the saudis. i think you have to have the joy radiance step up. -- the jordanians step up. if they don't do it, where do we go from here? >> once on labor day and hurricane
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>> if he can get a payroll tax holiday, that will help businesses but a lot of the benefit would flow to workers and give a reason to employ more
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people. i will take it if he can get one of sufficient scale the. >> paul krugman was talking about a report that the white house looking at a series of tax breaks for businesses including a temporary payroll tax holiday. any chance that will pass congress? >> the white house has said that they are not seeking a second stimulus package i am not sure what they can get done between now and election day to make a difference. even if they propose tax cuts for small businesses, i do not see it working for the economy. >> you mentioned the unemployment rate at 9.6% and ding 67,000 jobs but that will not lie with the electorate, will lead? >> i think the democrats need a fight going into this election. it strikes me that the most logical place because it is there before them, if congress
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does not act, all the attack -- bush tax cuts expired. the white house better be ready to lead the fight for the democrats on extending the tax cuts for those earning under two and $50,000 but not for those who are over. >> democrats are starting to cave on that, aren't they? >> they are bending on this idea. they have to make that case politically to the nation. >> this is nibbling around the edges of some big industrial temporary tax break. this is to spur business but only in the united states. that is a very difficult thing to do. >> i think the tragedy for the administration is if it had proposed a huge payroll tax holiday as the original stimulus and not spent it on infrastructure or in interstate highway system, if they have
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figured not spending $1 trillion, if he had done that at the beginning of the administration, he would have had republican support. he would of argued -- he would have argued that the economy is shared by republicans and democrats. i think it would have helped him politically. i also think it would of had a much larger effect in helping the economy than the stimulus did. >> the non-partisan and widely respected congressional budget office has already estimated that up to 4 million jobs have been saved or created by the stimulus. the idea that the republicans would cooperate -- barack obama, had he proposed a mother's day resolution, republicans in congress said they would not
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vote on that them. >> i would have supported that. [laughter] jobs saved is angels on the head of a pin. you can create jobs, temporary ones if you spend it. ditch digging is a job. if you want to create a permanent job, you do tax cuts. >> that is it for this week, thank you, see you next week. ♪
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